A startling new ad by a veterans organization argues that naming American military bases after Confederate generals determined to destroy the government is like naming a base for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
To chillingly illustrate the point, the ad features a welcome sign to an imaginary U.S. Army “Camp Bin Laden.”
“We wouldn’t name American military bases after enemies who attacked our country,” states the video produced by the progressive VoteVets, which claims 700,000 members. “But 10 military bases still bear the names of Confederate army traitors — enemies who took up arms against the United States in defense of slavery.”
So “why does Donald Trump so desperately want to keep the names of other racist enemies on our Army bases?” asked a VoteVets tweet that accompanied the release of the video.
The powerful message is the latest salvo in the push to change military base names honoring Confederate military leaders. The battle has gained steam in the wake of the national outcry after George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died when a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith said in a statement Monday that Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy were “open to a bipartisan discussion” about renaming the bases. The Marines and the Navy both this week banned the display of the Confederate flag.
The “Magnificent and Fabled” bases have become “part of a great American heritage, and a history of winning, victory and freedom,” Trump tweeted, failing to note that the Confederate military leaders lost. “Respect our military!” he added.
The VoteVets ad declared that the Confederate names “dishonor those who serve on those bases today” — as does Donald Trump. “We need to rename these forts for American heroes — men and women who served our country honorably,” the video concludes. (Check out the video up top.)
Former CIA director David Petraeus, a retired Army general, sounded a similar note in an opinion article piece this week in The Atlantic. He pointed out that the current names honor those tho “took up arms against the United States” and fought for the “right to enslave” Americans.
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